When I imagine visiting a national park, I always picture a safari in a vehicle. So before I saw the entry board, I had not guessed I have come for a 9 KM trek. Horton National Park is one of the famous national parks of Sri Lanka which is not known for animals but a trek towards a beautiful view-point and picture perfect waterfall. Of course you will find few birds on the way but it’s not a typical national park which you visit for taking chances to see wild life animals.
This national park is located near Nuwara Eliya and can be reached by hiring a taxi. Either your hotel can help you arrange or you can strike a deal with taxis available in front of bus stand. A rented taxi cost me 4000 LKR for the day which I think can be slightly bargained further. The way to national park from Nuwara Eliya to Horton National Park is quite scenic. You can see wind mills and lot of cows grazing on the green fields.
The entry to the park is a bit on higher side and rates are visible in the sheet below. Taxis can only go till trek entry point and after that you are on your own for a 9 KM walk :).
There is a clearly marked trail which needs to be followed on the trek. The walk starts with an open ground in the view with clear blue skies above. In the morning it is a bit cold but as the day progresses temperatures are very moderate. There are information sign boards along the way explaining the vegetation and animals that are found in the park. Of course on your path you will not find any animals as they have allowed you to walk but you will see various birds wandering through park.
Start the Walk
Clear Blue Sky
After few kilometers, the path moves from open grounds to forest with trees on both sides where sun light is passing through narrow spaces between leaves. You will also notice a very slight temperature difference and it becomes more pleasant to walk. It is a complete silence and you can only hear your own voice and birds chirping nearby if any.
Information Sign Board
Walk With Tress on Both Sides
Finally you reach a view-point named World’s end. It is advisable to start the trek very early in the morning because as the day progresses the visibility decreases for longer distances. The views from this point are fantastic and you can halt here for some time to store the views in your camera and your own memory.
Cloud Phenomenon Explained
View from World’s End
How Far Can You See
The trek continues further and again you are in open ground. Nothing much has changes and colors in sky are still wonderful providing plenty of opportunities to capture. Every now and then you will meet few people walking. So the trek is not crowded but at the same time you are not alone whole time to get scared 🙂 .
Blue Sky and Open Ground
The sign boards direct you towards Baker’s waterfall. The final few hundred meters to waterfall are not easy for everyone specially elderly people. The slope down towards waterfall is slippery and extra care needs to be taken with each step as there is every chance of slipping down. People with very young kids may skip the final part to go till bottom of the fall and enjoy the view from distance.
As I descended down and reached near waterfall, all the tiredness disappeared in a moment. I had been to many waterfalls but this one was special. This is one sight which I had seen in many wallpapers but now in front of my eyes. You should at least spend half an hour here as it is very relaxing to sit on the rocks and enjoy the water flowing near by. Water is cold, clean and refreshing.
White Water Droplets
Take rest at this peaceful place and then start the return journey. Once you finish the trek, you will have a sense of achievement. A walk in Horton National Park is a “Walk To Remember”.
- The estimated time for trek is 3 hours but it will take some more time than this so plan accordingly.
- Plan your visit early in the morning. There are two advantages associated – The views are better and you will be able to avoid heat in afternoon.
- Carry some food items and water with you. You are not allowed to carry polythene inside the park but biscuits and wafers are permitted. Make sure you do not spoil the surroundings and carry all the plastic back with you.
- Wear proper footwear as path is uneven at many places even though the trek level is marked as easy.